‘Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.’ 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
When Jesus fought the devil in the wilderness, Satan never landed a single punch. Three times Jesus told him, ‘It is written.’ (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 NKJV) And with those three solid right hooks, Satan went down and couldn’t get up.
Let’s look at each of the three temptations. Temptation 1: ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.’ (Matthew 4:3 NLT) Note Satan’s twofold attack: (1) ‘If you are the Son of God.’ Satan will make you doubt your salvation, your Saviour and your righteous standing before God. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21) He’ll remind you of all your flaws and failures. He’ll tell you, ‘The Christian life is too hard; give up!’ That’s a lie; don’t believe him. Yes, the Holy Spirit will point out your character defects so you can overcome them. But you’re not saved by your own goodness. ‘By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.’ (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV) (2) ‘Change these stones into loaves of bread.’ Forty days of fasting had left Jesus famished. His stomach was empty, so Satan began with the topic of bread. Where are you empty? Are you hungry for attention, craving success, and longing for intimacy? You must be aware of your weak spots and bring them to God before Satan brings them to you and says, ‘Meet your own needs. Take matters into your own hands. Leave God out of the picture.’ No, if you could live the Christian life without God, you wouldn’t need Him!
It’s the life that’s totally dependent on God that defeats Satan’s strategies every time.